Subject: Finite vs. Infinite Space: The Caudine Forks
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 00:38:18 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: Jean-Pierre Luminet <>

Jean-Pierre, mon cher ami,

Thank you for your email of Tue, 28 Oct 2003 19:40:39 +0100.

> Next,  the Cornish-Spergel-Starkman work remains under
> discussion.

> Second, their work must cross under the caudine forks of a
> referee,
because, although they are very confident in their code, it
> is not an easy
task to look for matched circles in CMB data.

Sure, it is really tough,

However, other than some uniform smooth pattern, what is that one can *not* see in CMB data? I personally can see just about everything I look for:-) Of course, I'm not a physicist, I'm just from the woods.

Suppose you can discover that something is missing in the picture above. Fine, but how would this missing piece disprove the proposal of your opponents?

> We hope to resolve altogether the conundrum in the next few
> weeks (or

I am a bit doubtful. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

In order to reach a point at which your team and that of Cornish-Spergel-Starkman would 'put your cards on the table', you all -- I mean, all of you -- would have to clearly declare the conditions under which each team will accept the alternative standpoint of the other.

I can't see how you would do that in the next few weeks (or months).

There are indisputable evidence supporting both possibilities, finite and infinite space, which is why I proposed to consider them complementary, not alternatives,

Please see the excerpt from your online paper [Ref. 1]. I bet you all would 'put your cards on the table'  iff  you have a unanimous vote on the nature of dark matter and dark energy,

and a complete theory of quantum gravity,

Then you would gently say to Cornish-Spergel-Starkman team 'if you prove  A  true, we will be wrong'. On the other hand, the Cornish-Spergel-Starkman team would be delighted to say 'if you prove  B  true, we will be wrong', after which you will work on  B , while Cornish-Spergel-Starkman team will work on  A , and everything will be just fine.

Meanwhile please keep in mind that you all could be right. The pitched battle you're mentioning above, the Caudine Forks (the battle in the Apennines in 321 B.C. in which the Samnites defeated the Romans), is simply groundless. The universe could be both finite and infinite,

There is a story about a Catholic priest, who refused to look in the telescope of Galileo Galilei, because was afraid that might lose his precious faith.

I am definitely sure that you and all your colleagues are different. Just look at the observational data,

Kindest regards,

Dîmî de Boulogne

[Ref. 1] THE TOPOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSE: Is the Universe crumpled?

by Jean-Pierre Luminet
Research Director at CNRS
Astrophysicist at the Paris-Meudon Observatory

"General relativity indicates how to calculate this curvature. Its value depends on the average density of matter-energy it contains, as well as a parameter Lambda, called the cosmological constant. Generally, a second simplification is introduced, that to suppose a vanishing Lambda. Then, the finite/infinite character of space does not depend any more but on the average matter-energy density: according to whether it is higher or lower than a certain "critical value ", 10-29 g/cm3, the curvature is positive or negative, and space is finite or infinite. What are the observational data?

"Various reasons suggest that, in addition to visible matter, great quantities of dark matter exist, sufficiently perhaps so that the true density of the universe reaches exactly the critical value. In this case, the universe would marginally remain open in space and time. This is the Euclidean model, first proposed by Einstein and de Sitter in 1931, and which keeps still today the favours of many cosmologists,
without decisive argument to justify it (if not... an aesthetic feeling).

"The physicists doubt that a theory predicting singularities can be correct. The fact is that general relativity is incomplete, since it does not take account of the principles of quantum mechanics."


Subject: Info
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 00:06:16 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
BCC: [snip]

Dear Colleague,

I thought you may wish to know that on October 29th at 9:32:12 AM local time here in Sofia (8:32:12 AM in Paris) a computer at IP Address tried to connect to my TCP port 2260. I traced it back, and found the following info: -
Proxad, Internet Service Provider in France
country: FR
admin-c: ACP23-RIPE
tech-c: TCP8-RIPE

I feel deeply flattered by this genuine interest in my work on behalf of people from your country.


Dimi Chakalov